Gas prices across Utah dropped to $4.80 per gallon for regular unleaded on Tuesday, still well above the national average but down more than 45 cents from the previous month and down 11 cents in just the past week.
The trend was similar in St. George, where prices averaged $4.90 per gallon, down 7 cents over the past week and down 34 cents in the past month, according to surveyed averages reported by the auto club AAA.
Gas prices across the U.S. have fallen for more than seven consecutive weeks, and the national average was $4.19 on Tuesday, according to the AAA report. That figure was down more than 65 cents from a month earlier but still registered well ahead of historic prices, up by more than $1 when compared to the same date in 2021.
Prices for diesel had seen a similar drop in recent weeks, dropping another 14.8 cents in the last week to $5.27 per gallon as of Sunday, according to GasBuddy, which compiled gas prices from more than 11 million price reports at 150,000 gas stations across the U.S.
“We continue to see average gas prices falling in every state, with the national average down for the seventh straight week,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GusBuddy. “Even better, nearly 20 states have also seen their average decline to $3.99 or less, with over 70,000 stations now at that level or below.”
The expectation is for the dropping prices to continue toward the end of summer, De Haan said, although supply tightness could present problems in some areas unless inventories rise.
“For now, Americans are seeing prices nearly 90 cents lower than their mid-June peak and are spending close to $330 million less on gasoline every day as a result,” De Haan said. “As long as oil prices hold at these levels or lower, we’ll see another decline in most areas this week.”
Prices across the Rocky Mountain region
Regional gas prices in the Rocky Mountain states fell for the fourth consecutive week and reached an average of $4.51 per gallon on Monday, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The average fuel price in the Rocky Mountain region has fallen about 49 cents since last month. According to the EIA, gas prices across the region in the last year have ranged between $3.33 on Feb. 14, 2022, and $5.00 on July 4, 2022.
A year ago, the average gas price in the Rocky Mountain region was $3.64 per gallon, representing a 24% annual increase.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s tally of prices in the Rocky Mountain states includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
Volatile energy markets
Energy market prices were sporadic over the past week, with different news headlines from around the world prompting changes day-to-day.
In early trade on Monday, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down $4.66 to $93.96 per barrel, slightly lower than last Monday’s $96.03 per barrel level, according to GasBuddy. Brent crude was also in the red, down $2.66 to $101.31 per barrel, some $3 lower than last Monday’s $104.38 print.
Fears of a recession after the U.S. showed back-to-back quarters of economic growth was impacting some of the fluctuations, along with question marks about what OPEC might do during its meeting this week. The organization was expected to keep production unchanged or to potentially approve a small increase.
USA TODAY contributed to this article.
David DeMille is the content strategist and editor for The Spectrum & Daily News, a USA TODAY Network newsroom based in southern Utah. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today.